In After the Fight, therapist Daniel B. Wile wrote, “Choosing a marriage partner is choosing a set of problems.”
You don’t consciously think about this fact when you’re dating. You tend to see what you want to see. When your brain is flooded with intoxicating chemicals, your judgment can be clouded (about the other person), and you may gloss over what seems like relatively small issues—at the time.
But as you get to know the person, you begin to see their imperfect self. Likewise, they begin to see yours.
Still, you press on, knowing that what you feel is real and that the both of you are ready to face whatever internal or external storms may befall you.
Then the wedding planning begins and the attendant pressures cause those cracks to become full-on fissures. You may begin to have the smallest of doubts about the relationship, but you’re already this far along, and this is what people do after all, right?
So you get married, get a house, and have some kids. All the while, the both of you may be learning more and more how problematic the other person is in your life.
She wants to travel.
He wants to save money.
She wants to work.
He wants her to raise the kids.
The list of issues that bring conflict to marriage are endless.
But that’s part of life and part of marriage. Two imperfect people together for any length of time—and especially in an intimate and committed relationship—will suffer conflict, hurt feelings, misunderstandings, frustration, and doubt.
But knowing that you’ve willingly chosen a set of problems—and so has your spouse in choosing your set of problems—ought to help you weather the inevitable storms of life.
If you refuse to see your spouse as the source of your problems and choose to take responsibility for yourself and your marriage, you will experience a loyal, lasting, and loving marriage no matter what problems arise.